ISCHIA

A spontaneous trip to the island of Ischia with Mugu (the fun-sized Romanian manager at La Controra) led to: a ferry ride on the Tyrrhenian Sea, night swimming, a stay at a hidden paradise of a hostel and a morning at the hot springs. 

Ischia's a volcanic island and natural hot springs flow out of certain parts of the coast, so we hung out in the relaxing springs for a few hours before heading back to the hectic city. 

I visited Ischia a few days later for pumpkin pasta (which I was thrilled to see on the menu...Italy doesn't embrace the ultimate seasonal flavor nearly as much as it ought to) and to do a hike up Mount Epomeo. 

 Just hanging out, in front of a sketchy cave.

Just hanging out, in front of a sketchy cave.

 Never dressed appropriately for a hike. 

Never dressed appropriately for a hike. 

We made it to the top in 6 hours, just before sunset and had a steep trip down followed by boxed wine and cookies for dinner and of course, epic pizzas for lunch the following day. 

One of the greatest things about pizza in Italy is that people don't share them. It's just understood that everyone is going to eat an entire pizza themselves. Every pizza is a personal pan pizza. What a beautiful concept.